Liberty Lake town hall bond fails; Airway Heights bond on track to pass
Fri., Aug. 5, 2016
Voters in Liberty Lake rejected plans for a new town center after the bond received only 56 percent of votes in favor – 4 percentage points lower than it needed to pass.
The bond would have funded construction of a $12 million, 50,000-square-foot community center called Town Square. The project would have included two outdoor pools, a new library, and a 240-person-capacity multipurpose room. It would have sat on land the city purchased 10 years ago.
“We’re disappointed,” Mayor Steve Peterson said. “We’re trying to articulate from the vote what the voters are telling us.”
Peterson said the city is looking into why the measure failed and what it could do differently if a similar bond were introduced in the future.
“Was it the cost? Was it the size of the aquatics? Was it moving the library? Do you really want a community center or do you really want a pool?” Peterson said. “One of my goals is to do some research into the people that did vote.”
Future plans for the space could include introducing a revised town center with further community input, or selling the land outright, Peterson said.
“We worked our tail off to ensure the community had a good choice,” he said. “And it still came up short.”
Meanwhile, voters in Airway Heights look to be narrowly approving a $13 million proposed recreation center.
Election results showed 61 percent of votes were in favor of a bond that would pay the $13 million construction cost of an indoor pool, basketball courts, a gym and a multipurpose room – part of a larger, 70-acre recreation complex the city hopes to pursue – just northwest of the Spokane County Raceway in Airway Heights. It needs 60 percent to pass.
“It’s going up, so that’s a good sign I guess,” Mayor Kevin Richey said. “It just depends. I’m optimistic.”
Elections officials estimate about 50 ballots are still left to count out of roughly 851 total ballots. A full count should be issued Monday.
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